Front Cover

Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Wakeman/Heritage House, Block 28 Lot 1, Archaeology
Title: Archeological Strategy in the Investigation of an Unknown Era: Sixteenth Century St. Augustine
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094838/00002
 Material Information
Title: Archeological Strategy in the Investigation of an Unknown Era: Sixteenth Century St. Augustine
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Wakeman/Heritage House, Block 28 Lot 1, Archaeology
Physical Description: Report
Language: English
Creator: Deagan, Kathleen
Publication Date: 1978
Physical Location:
Box: 7
Divider: Block 28 Lot 1 (Heritage House)
Folder: Wakeman/Heritage House, B28 L1, Archaeology
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
1 Aviles Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Heritage House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Wakeman House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 1 Aviles Street
Coordinates: 29.892097 x -81.311584
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094838
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: B28-L1

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 1a
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
Full Text



Kathleen Deagan
Florida State University

January, 1978

Project report submitted to the St. Augustine
Restoration Foundation, Inc. St. Augustine, Florida



Over the past decade, the state of knowledge about the

Spanish colonial system in the Southeast has grown from an

incomplete descriptive base of historical facts and random

artifact categories, to an emerging picture of the cultural,

social and ecological adaptations of the Spaniards in Florida.

This depiction, however, has been largely synchronic, and is

restricted to town life in St. Augustine during the 18th

century, and to a lesser extent, the Florida mission system

of the 17th century (see bibliography). No diachronic study

of this Spanish colonial adaptive system has been possible,

due to the fact that no archeological studies of the earliest

period of Spanish occupation have taken place. In addition

to this, no descriptive base for the material culture of the

period has been available, which could provide a starting

point for processual studies. Although certain artifact

categories are known, largely through research in the Carib-

bean (Goggin 1968:1970; Council 1975; Willis 1976; Lister and

Lister 1976; Fairbanks 1972), no material culture complex or

adaptive system has been defined for 16th century Florida.

St. Augustine Florida *


Location of Test Area


* After Puente (.764)



For these reasons, and prompted by the public in-

terpretation programs of the St. Augustine Restoration

Foundation, Inc., a long-term research project concentrat-

ing on 16th century archeological data was initiated in

1976. This work is being carried out jointly by the Flo-

rida State University Anthropology Department, and the St.

Augustine Restoration Foundation, Inc., with consultation

by the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board. The

overall research project, coordinated by the Foundation,

is the.joint effort of historians Paul Hoffman (Louisiana

State University); Eugene Lyon. (St. Augustine Restoration

Foundation, Inc.); Albert Manucy (National Park Service,

ret.); architect Herschel Shephard (Fisher and Shephard,

Inc., Jacksonville, Fla.); cultural anthropologist Frank

Aguilera (Boston University) and archeologist Kathleen

Deagan (Florida State University). The purpose of this

report is to document the 1977 archeological research re-

sults, and will contain only that historical, architec-

tural and anthropological data directly relevant to the

archeological research.

Since virtually nothing was known of the 16th

century St. Augustine at the outset of the project, the

first (1976) season was oriented toward locating and de-

lineating the site of the 16th century settlement. Work


by project historians indicated that the settlement was

within a 9-block area to the south of the present Plaza

(see Fig. 1). To test this hypothesis, a sub-surface

survey of the south half of the town was conducted, using

a mechanical soil auger to drill holes at set intervals

throughout the survey area. The results of this work,

reported in Deagan, Bostwick and Benton (1976) indicated

a strong clustering of 16th century material within an

area bounded by present day Artillery Lane, St. George

Street, Bridge Street and Marine Street in St. Augustine

(Fig. 2). This work supported the historians' hypothesis,

and provided a good indication.of the actual 16th century

town's location.

The 1977 season, discussed in this report, was

designed to further refine the settlement information,

and to test certain key sites within the survey area.

The project was carried out between April 1, 1977, and

September 1, 1977, under the direction of the author.

Field work and analysis were conducted by a two-person

team, under the supervision of Dale Benton (Florida State


The primary goals of the project were:

1. To further confirm and/or refine the 16th century

settlement location.

SA 34 1

I SA 34 3 /

I -Aviles St. I...
SA 19 2

Block 23

Figure 2
Location of Tests o 25

N -

2. To test the area for features and other depositions

dating to the 16th century in order to gauge the

extent of actual occupation rather than simple


3. To recover material from 16th century contexts

so that a preliminary definition of a 16th century

(archeological) material complex might be deve-

loped. "Archeological" is specified here since

project historians have produced a very extensive

list of material items, both perishable and pre-

servable, from personal property inventories of

colony officials, probate lists, ship registries,

royal supply lists and royal inventories. Since

many of these items are listed in general terms,

it was hoped that the project would specify these

items, and also to compare these known items (which

are admittedly skewed toward the upper economic

element in the colony) to material surviving in the


4. To locate one or more 16th century structures for

evidence of architectural design and materials,

as well as lot element information.

It should be noted that these project goals are

wholly descriptive in nature rather than attempting to

be explanatory. Processual investigation of the 16th

century cultural system through hypothesis testing cannot

properly be carried out until the nature and distribution

of 16th century features and material culture is under-

stood. This stage of the project is intended to begin

providing such a data base.

Historical and Cultural Setting
(Partially taken from Deagan, Bostwick and Benton 1976:5-6)

St. Augustine was founded in 1565 as a Spanish

military outpost, functioning as a buffer to other Euro-

pean powers in North America, as well as a defense and

relief station for the Spanish treasure fleet and its

frequent wreck victims.

The earliest site of European occupation in St.

Augustine was the Timucuan Indian village of the chief

Seloy, who offered the village's communal structure to

Pedro Menendez as a fortification and headquarters (Manucy

1962:14). The site of Seloy's village is believed to lie

approximately 3/4 mile north of the present site of the

Castillo de San Marcos (Merritt 1977) in the vicinity of

the Fountain of Youth Park. For eight months the infant

colony was sustained at Seloy's village, until it was re-

located to an island at the entrance to the harbor (or

possibly to Anastasia Island), where the second and third

forts were constructed (Arnade 1959:16; Chatelaine 1941:43).

Due to erosion and to the need for a stronger defensive

position, the town and the fort were again relocated in

1572 to their approximate present locations.

The new settlement was plagued by Indian attack,

and in 1586 by the sacking and burning of the English

pirate, Sir Francis Drake. A map accompanying the account

of Drake's expedition shows nine formally laid out blocks

near the bay, some distance to the south of the fort.

These blocks are believed to have been within the area

tested in this project, and was apparently the primary

area of town settlement until sometime near the middle

of the 17th century (see Deagan, Bostwick and Benton 1976).

Following Drake's raid, the town was rebuilt,

largely of board and thatch (Manucy 1962:14-18), only to

be devastated throughout the remainder of the 16th cen-

tury by hurricanes, fire and flood. By 1600 there were

more than 120 houses and 625 people in St. Augustine, in-

cluding Spaniards, Indians and Negroes (Arnade 1959:8-9).

This figure remained fairly stable until late in the 17th

century, for in 1683, there were only 100 families in the

town, with about 600 people (Dunkle 1958:6). It seems

reasonable to assume that the town area itself did not

expand greatly, and probably not much outside of the original


area during this time, particularly since the number of

families (and therefore dwelling places) did not increase.

Population composition and socio-economic condi-

tions in 16th century St. Augustine are poorly known.

Although Menendez left Spain with some 2,000 people (in-

cluding soldiers and colonists) more than 1,000 died or

deserted before the establishment of the colony. This de-

sertion, in addition to the military expeditions against

the French, resulted in a male population of only about

70 men in the 1560's in St. Augustine (Dunkle 1958:4).

In 1569, 80 men and 14 women were brought to the colony,

and probably included, in addition to soldiers; farmers,

tanners, tailors, carpenters, shoemakers, locksmiths,

blacksmiths, silversmiths, tavern keepers, fishermen and

priests ibidd; Manucy 1977 ms). By 1578 it was reported

that of the 186 men in the colony, 157 were soldiers,

27 were seamen and two were "Frenchmen" (Dunkle 1958:4).

It seems likely that intermarriage between Indian women

and Spanish men was fairly frequent (see Deagan 1974b),

which would have done much toward establishing exchange

and mutual incorporation of Spanish and Indian elements

into the life of the town.

By the turn of the 17th century there were 650

colonists, including 250 men in the garrison. Fifty-seven


of these were married, with a total of 103 children

(Dunkle 1958:4). More than 120 houses were present, made

of wood and thatch. The streets were of mud, in which

animals frequently roamed, and each family was reported

to have had four to 10 cows. A palmetto thatch church

was present during the 16th century, as well as a hospital

during the latter years of the century. Prior to 1597,

no mill was present in the colony, and the inhabitants

(presumably female) were reported to have suffered much

in grinding corn by hand (Arnade 1959:9).

Anthropological and historical research has sug-

gested certain .factors with which the inhabitants of early

St. Augustine probably identified, and which may have

formed the structure of social organization in the com-

munity (Manucy 1977 ms). These include affiliation with

military life and service; the role of the Catholic Church

and the statuses and obligations of church membership;

loyalties to one's place of origin in Spain as noted in

early conflicts between people from different provinces;

and the identification with local civil and legal insti-

tutions, which seem to have provided a balance to the

Royal governing structure. These aspects of community

life, along with the continuing need for adaptation to the

Florida environment and its native inhabitants; provides

a beginning from which hypotheses about the colonial sys-

tem might ultimately be derived, and which may eventually

be tested using the data base developed in this stage of

the project.

The Excavation Project

During the course of fieldwork, six sites within

the suspected area of 16th century occupation were tested

(Fig. 2). The sites were selected according to the fol-

lowing factors, listed by priority:

1. Distribution in the center and along the periphery

of the suspected town location.

2. Presence of 16th century material, as indicated

by the 1976 season tests.

3. Availability of open ground to excavate.

4. Cooperation and permission of landowners.

Since the test area is a commercial and residen-

tial urban area, severe limitations were placed on site

selection by the existence of paving and standing struc-

tures, as well as by the reluctance of commercial land-

owners to allow parking lot and sidewalk removal on their

business properties.

The present status and a brief background of

each site is given below. The earliest historical docu-

mentation of site ownership is the 1763 Puente map and

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